In­vest­ment News

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Ger­many is look­ing to in­crease its in­vest­ment in Pak­istan’s en­ergy sec­tor, pro­vided its com­pa­nies are re­as­sured about the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion, Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel said at a joint news con­fer­ence with Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Sharif after their meet­ing in the Ger­man cap­i­tal, Berlin..

Ms Merkel said Ger­many’s KfW state de­vel­op­ment bank was al­ready in­volved in projects in Pak­istan, in­clud­ing hy­dropower plants, but added that the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion was some­times a de­ter­rent.

“We can look at in­ten­si­fy­ing th­ese (in­vest­ments), as long as the con­di­tions are right. It is im­por­tant that the prime min­is­ter (Nawaz Sharif) is suc­cess­ful in im­prov­ing the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion and the le­gal sys­tem so that in­vestors feel safe,” she said, adding that the agri­cul­tural sec­tor also of­fered op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Prime Min­is­ter Sharif urged Ger­man firms to invest in his coun­try.

He said his coun­try of­fered the most in­vestor-friendly cli­mate, adding:“Pak­istan is fac­ing an acute short­age of en­ergy. We be­lieve that over the next three years we will be able to have at least ad­di­tional ca­pac­ity of about 4,000-5,000 megawatts of elec­tric­ity.”

Nawaz Sharif said Ger­man firms, some of them world lead­ers in re­new­able en­ergy tech­nol­ogy thanks to the coun­try’s shift to green en­ergy and away from nu­clear power, were keen to invest.

Ger­many is Pak­istan’s fourth big­gest trad­ing part­ner and the largest within the Euro­pean Union, Mr Sharif said.

Bi­lat­eral trade to­talled about 1.9 bil­lion euros last year, with Pak­istan sell­ing mainly tex­tiles, leather goods and bas­mati rice and Ger­many ex­port­ing pre­dom­i­nantly chem­i­cal prod­ucts, ma­chines and ve­hi­cles to Pak­istan.

Mr Sharif said Ger­many had pledged to im­prove its eco­nomic ties with Pak­istan and co­op­er­ate in the en­ergy sec­tor.

“There is a lot of in­ter­est of Ger­man busi­ness­men in Pak­istan’s en­ergy sec­tor and the gov­ern­ment is ag­gres­sively pur­su­ing the pol­icy of at­tract­ing for­eign in­vestors,” he added.

The prime min­is­ter said he and the Ger­man chan­cel­lor had held a pro­duc­tive meet­ing with spe­cial fo­cus on bi­lat­eral re­la­tions. Both sides also ex­changed views on re­gional and global is­sues.

He said Ger­many oc­cu­pied a spe­cial place in Pak­istan’s for­eign pol­icy and the two coun­tries en­joyed tra­di­tion­ally warm and friendly ties.

“Pak­istan of­fers the most in­vestor­friendly cli­mate when com­pared in the world to­day and Ger­man busi­ness­men could ben­e­fit from it by par­tic­i­pat­ing in mul­ti­ple sec­tors of our econ­omy,” the prime min­is­ter said, adding that Pak­istan’s en­ergy sec­tor in par­tic­u­lar was lack­ing large in­vest­ment.

He wel­comed the Ger­man gov­ern­ment’s decision to ex­pand its vo­ca­tional train­ing pro­gramme, es­tab­lish an en­ergy fo­rum in La­hore and co­op­er­ate in wa­ter dis­as­ter man­age­ment.

He said the scourge of ter­ror­ism con­tin­ued to haunt the world and Pak­istan was still pay­ing a for­bid­dingly heavy price in fight­ing this men­ace. He ex­pressed the con­fi­dence that Pak­istan would soon suc­ceed in de­feat­ing this men­ace.

The prime min­is­ter said both coun­tries had agreed to strengthen their on­go­ing en­gage­ment in the field of counter-ter­ror­ism and to con­tinue their col­lab­o­ra­tion in higher ed­u­ca­tion.

He said that in the long run Pak­istan should have an ad­di­tional 10,000MW of elec­tric­ity and Chan­cel­lor Merkel had been very help­ful and sup­port­ive in the power sec­tor. He also in­vited Ms Merkel to visit Pak­istan.

Chan­cel­lor Merkel said the two sides had dis­cussed bi­lat­eral, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional is­sues, in­clud­ing Afghanistan. Ger­many wanted to ex­pand its ties with Pak­istan, she added.

The Prime Min­is­ter Sharif also met Prof Dr Nor­bert Lam­mert, Pres­i­dent of Bun­destag (Ger­man Par­lia­ment) and dis­cussed with him bi­lat­eral is­sues.

The prime min­is­ter in­formed him about the ef­forts be­ing made to strengthen demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions in Pak­istan and said reg­u­lar in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the par­lia­men­tar­i­ans of both coun­tries would strengthen th­ese in­sti­tu­tions. In this con­text, he added, a friend­ship group for Pak­istan in the Ger­man par­lia­ment was needed.

Prof Lam­mert ex­pressed his de­sire for the deep­en­ing of re­la­tions be­tween the par­lia­ments of the two coun­tries and re­called his visit to Pak­istan in May 2014.

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